ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- It's easy to get carried away by the spirit of the season and end up with stressful debt. According to a 2016 holiday shopping report by the Rubicon Project, consumers plan to spend 12 percent more on their holiday shopping than they did in 2015. This means Americans will spend an average of $1,175 this holiday season. Without a holiday spending game plan, it could also mean struggling to pay rent or mortgage and credit card debt.
"Our customers spent an average of $1,395 last year on their holiday shopping," says Elizabeth Halkos, chief revenue officer of Purchasing Power ®, an employee purchase program offered as a voluntary benefit. "If they had used credit cards for their purchases and didn't pay off the full amount within one month, they would have fallen into the trap of spending significantly more than the cost of the gift due to double-digit interest." The most popular product categories for spending last year, according to Purchasing Power, were electronics, computers and televisions, with MacBooks and Smart TVs topping most lists. This holiday season, the company anticipates cellphones, gaming consoles and virtual reality gear will be especially strong sellers, as well as laptops and computers. "Paying for goods over time is often a good option for consumers who don't have cash up front," Halkos points out. "And with a continued shift towards online and mobile shopping, consumers need an alternative to credit card debt." An employee purchase program can save money over traditional financing options like credit cards or in-store financing, particularly for those prone to making minimum monthly payments or incurring late fees. A 12-month payroll deduction schedule helps ensure no missed payments, eliminating the risk of late fees or loss of merchandise. There also is more time to pay off the balance, making holiday spending less stressful. And, under Purchasing Power's program, consumers pay the same price whether they pay in cash in full or take advantage of the option to pay through payroll deduction.